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I typically teach with method books as references for younger students, occasionally using printouts to give to students to take home and study in order to have a better undertanding of what was gone over in class. As students become more proficient in music reading and theory understanding, we develop an understanding of what the student would prefer to learn in regards to genre and focus on that, and the technical aspects of playing that lead to proficiency in that genre and style.
I began teaching in 2010, doing group and private lessons. I found individual instruction to be more effective, and have worked regularly for private studios, other online services, and as a freelance teacher. Every lesson I ever had as a student, every performance I've ever given, and every lesson I've given all add up into the experience I bring into my work as a teacher now. Some of the most important things I've learned are: 1.) Regular, daily practicing is the most crucial element to success. 2.) Take the time to address details and get them right, no matter how long it takes. If you skip them early on you'll regret it later. 3.) Every student is different, and no one structure will work for everybody. A teacher must be flexible and always keep the student's best interest in mind.
My goal is to teach my students the skills that they need to become professional, working musicians. My patience and enthusiasm are what distinguish me as a teacher. I've studied Music Composition at the New World School of the Arts and Audio Engineering at Full Sail University. I've had the opportunity to work in a variety of musical environments from performing in rock and pop bands to recording for national television commercials. This has helped me develop a versatile approach to music education that is both fun and rewarding.
My teaching history dates back to when I was just a freshmen at college. I began teaching beginners and playing in various bands and began enjoying and sharing music with others. When I graduated I began to teach intermediate and some advanced students and realized that music would forever be a part of my life. I have performed with various bands and ensembles throughout the years and throughout Florida. I have worked with a variety of students from children to adults. I have studied classical and contemporary music and feel very comfortable with improvisation as well.
I always prioritize my students musical ambitions when planning lessons. For that reasons I try to find out what they are interested and select lesson material accordingly. For beginning students, particularly younger children, I like to begin by teaching fundamental musical concepts, either out of Hal Leonard instructional books or with custom lesson material. I believe that playing the music that the student enjoys listening to is crucial in helping them find their love of the instrument, and I often try to guide this process by personally arranging music to the appropriate skill level.
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Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika by the age of 6. Students of this age are advised to learn on a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, as it will be much easier to play. They will start by learning simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar. By age 7-8, students will have progressed on to learning to play chords and how to play and sing along to some of their favorite songs. At age 10-12, students are often able to hold a full size guitar quite comfortably, and may want to learn rock music on an electric guitar.
Young students are encouraged to start their guitar lessons by playing half size or three-quarter size acoustic guitars. Using an electric guitar is a viable alternative for older students who are able to hold the instrument with comfort. A student model guitar bought from new will cost in the vicinity of $150 - $200. For electric guitar players, amplification and guitar cables are required, which will need to be purchased at an additional cost. As a general rule, the higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This is important as it affords the student the best possible chance of enjoying playing and learning the guitar.
At Musika, we appreciate that every student learns at their own pace. As such, the experienced teachers in our network produce customized guitar lessons specifically for the requirements of each individual student. Teachers can design lessons for any student, regardless of their age, experience, or ability. Some of the things students can expect to learn during their lessons are learning all the notes of the guitar, playing and rhythmic techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, how to read musical notation and tablature, learning how to play a variety of different chords, such as open and barre chords, and music theory. Over time, as each student progresses, they will learn how to piece everything they have learned together, in order to form complete compositions. Students can learn to play their favorite songs, or even to write their own music!
Whatever your current ability level, we recommend that students wanting to take guitar lessons have a clear aim in mind. Beginner students may wish to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or an advanced player might like to work on a specific aspect of their guitar playing. Regardless of your goals, the experienced teachers in Musika's network can help make them happen. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, achieving your goals will take time. Developing the necessary skills can sometimes take months. The only way to ensure you achieve your goals is to dedicate yourself to lessons and practice.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home guitar lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. For younger students in particular, having guitar lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the guitar.
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
Review by Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
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